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Nov. 11, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterNov. 11, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter


AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 45 — November 11, 2011

The doctor doesn’t need to be in
‘Up’ isn’t always above you
‘I came for this’
Quiz Me: Automated unicom


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Rally GAThe doctor doesn’t need to be in

Feature Richard Fox has been flying since his teens, but—like thousands of U.S. pilots—he’s considering shifting to the light sport aircraft category because of the potential burden posed by the third class medical examination. “I’ve got a current medical,” said Fox, 58, of Gettysburg, Pa., who has owned a series of Waco, Pitts, and Stearman biplanes since the 1970s. “But I’m not sure it will be worth the trouble and expense of maintaining it in the future, so I’m planning to switch gears.” AOPA has long sought, and petitioned on a number of occasions, to reduce or eliminate the burdens that a requirement for third class medicals imposes on pilots, but the FAA has always insisted on first having data showing such a move wouldn’t diminish flying safety. Now, AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association are spearheading a major new initiative to give pilots an option—continue to get a third class medical or, in addition to holding a valid driver’s license, complete an online education program on medical self-certification and fly certain aircraft. Read more >>

Introducing, the best pilot headset ever from Bose.

NEW Bose A20™ Aviation Headset
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GA News

Popular Garmin navigators to be discontinued

It’s been a good run for the Garmin GNS 430-530 line of navigation products, but with technology moving onward, the time has come to discontinue them, the manufacturer said in a Nov. 1 announcement. Garmin said that it will “discontinue production of the GNS 530W navigator beginning November 30, 2011. While the GNS 430W series product is still available, Garmin anticipates this product will be discontinued in the first half of 2012.” The company pledged support of the product lines “for years to come.” Read more >>

ForeFlight offers update, weather data

ForeFlight has announced the arrival of ForeFlight Mobile 4.2, for immediate download. The release revamps ForeFlight’s mapping engine “with TFR overlays, a new downloadable World Map, extra zoom levels, and interactive Airmets, Sigmets, and Pireps.” Read more >>

Sky’s no limit for Bulldog

Marine Sgt. 'Bulldog' Blair Marine Sgt. Michael “Bulldog” Blair considered his options for a career after retiring from the Corps: He had the job skills to start work right away, but lacked one thing he wanted—education, he said. So he made a characteristically “Bulldog” decision. “I decided to do the hardest thing I possibly could and become an engineer,” he said. He moved to Arizona with his wife and daughter in February, retired in March, and spent the summer fixing up the family’s new house and flying. Now he’s hunkered down focusing on his studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Read more >>

Cessna jet flies honorees to Veterans Day event

Cessna Aircraft Co., joining in the work of the nonprofit Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), announced Nov. 10 that a special company jet would fly two wounded veterans from San Antonio, Texas, to VAC's annual fundraiser in Pinehurst, N.C., where the soldiers would be honored on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Cessna designated a Citation Mustang it named the American Patriot to fly the mission and others for VAC, an organization that provides free medical and compassionate transportation for wounded veterans and their families. Read more >>

Skyport's grand experiment open for business

Skyport open for business “We're going to change the way we train pilots.” That was the message from John King, co-founder and owner of King Schools, on the opening of the Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, Nov. 8. King and about 300 other people from the local community and aviation industry were there to celebrate a new grand experiment in flight training. The Skyport was built by Redbird Flight Simulations, maker of the FMX low-cost, full-motion simulator for general aviation. Read more >>

Your IFR rating in 10 days at your location … IFR finish-up in as little as 3 days!

Professional teachers, specialized curriculum. IFR specialists for 30+ years. Whether flying G1000, Avidyne Entegra, Aspen, Cirrus Perspective or analog instruments, our instructors have the experience. Put “Instrument Rated” on your calendar NOW. 800-435-9437. Already Rated, but rusty? Our IFR Safety Course will get you current and make you a safer pilot.

2012 ‘Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide’ available

The thirty-fourth edition of the Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide has been published. The 2012 edition of the 400-page spiral bound book includes newly designed island maps and an extended Haiti section for humanitarian aid pilots, according to Pilot Publishing Inc. Read more >>

GAMA: Decline in aircraft deliveries slows

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported a slower decline in shipments of general aviation aircraft after nine months of 2011 than occurred in just the first half of the year. But GAMA warned that a fragile industry could still be derailed by “misguided tax policies,” in a reference to deficit-cutting proposals from the Obama administration that target aviation, which are under strong industry criticism. Read more >>

Cirrus reports growth despite uncertain economy

Cirrus Aircraft reported increased production during the third quarter in an announcement that differentiated company performance from overall industry statistics. During the third quarter, Cirrus completed 68 new aircraft, seven more than during the third quarter of 2010, said Todd Simmons, vice president of sales and marketing. Read more >>

Piper revenue, deliveries trend higher

Piper Aircraft reported better revenue, growth in aircraft deliveries, and a strong order backlog in third-quarter figures released Nov. 7. Revenue from new aircraft sales rose to $92.5 million, or 19 percent, through the end of the third quarter, compared to $77.6 million during the same period in 2010, the company said. Read more >>

Flying the same airplane without incident for 12+ months?

You’re entitled to 10% claims free credits your first year with Avemco—15% your second! Also receive up to 10% off your annual premium with Avemco’s Safety Rewards. Learn more >>

GA advocate Coyne honored with NAA award

From the cockpit to Congress, the private sector, and academia, a life’s work promoting aviation and safety of flight has earned National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne a Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman of Aviation award from the National Aeronautic Association. Coyne accepted the prestigious industry honor at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet Nov. 7 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Read more >>

Coffee-to-cash concept considered for grant

Ever wonder how much coffee is consumed by pilots? Rob Riggen did the math, and the numbers are huge—on the order of $1 billion worth of coffee a year. It would be a great thing for aviation, the flight instructor from Vermont thought, if profits from those coffee sales could help support aviation charitable work. Riggen’s “bootstrap” enterprise, Flying High Coffee, is now in the final round of voting for a $50,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh Project, a program that Pepsi says “is funding amazing ideas that refresh the world.” Read more >>

Experience the Garmin 3-D Audio Difference

Advanced audio processing in Garmin’s GMA 350/350H audio panel helps you differentiate between the audio inputs coming into your headset. When multiple COM radio sources are monitored, they seem to come from different locations around you. Try the demo today.

Airline flight academy opens to public

Aerosim Flight Academy in Sanford, Fla., has opened its training courses to the public for the first time in five years. The academy, formerly known as Delta Connection Academy, offers career-oriented pilot training to nearly 600 students at four facilities. About 60 to 70 percent of the students are international students. Read more >>

Florida Air Museum to expand

The Florida Air Museum on the grounds of the Sun ’n Fun campus in Lakeland, Fla., is building a 4,000-square-foot addition that will be unveiled in 2012. The addition will house a high-tech computer lab and additional classrooms, thus enabling the museum to enhance an increasing number of year-round youth and adult education programs, Florida Air Museum Board Chairman Pat Hill said in a news release. It will be called the Piedmont Hangar Aerospace and Technology Lab. Read more >>

Virgin Galactic chooses space pilot for passenger flights

Former U.S. Air Force test pilot Keith Colmer will be one of the astronaut pilots to carry tourists on suborbital space flights for Virgin Galactic, the company announced Oct. 27. Colmer, who has combat and test flight experience as well as experience in spacecraft operations, was selected from more than 500 applicants to be the first to join the commercial spaceline’s flight team, Virgin Galactic said. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Last Super Cub can be yours

Often copied, never duplicated, the venerable Piper Cub and later Super Cub have become synonymous with light airplanes in the minds of the public—and for good reason. The classic airplanes are plentiful, practical, and a sheer delight to fly. Now you can own a piece of the airplanes’ history, as what is claimed to be the very last Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub produced is up for sale by its owner. Read more >>


Goodyear blimp: Best seats in the house

If you're watching the Miami-Florida State football game this weekend, some of what you see will be coming live and direct from the Goodyear blimp. The iconic airships have been part of sports coverage for decades. The Aviators takes a look at what it takes to fly and maintain the world's most recognized lighter-than-air craft. Watch AOPA Live® >>

Bizav tech on display at NBAA

If you didn't get to the NBAA convention in Las Vegas this year, AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne gives you a quick look at a few things you missed in the exhibit hall. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

You didn’t get where you are today by standing on the sidelines when opportunity knocks.

And opportunity is knocking right now at Cirrus on the world’s leading personal aircraft. There are incredible time sensitive tax incentives that can offer you up to 100% depreciation in Year I based upon your business use of the aircraft. But you have to act this year, before December 31, 2011 to take advantage of this capital preservation opportunity.

Safety & Proficiency

‘Up’ isn’t always above you

The first time a pilot becomes disoriented in IMC can leave a lasting impression. When you’re not sure which way is up, you have to rely on cues around you to stay oriented. But which cues are correct? What the airplane is telling you, or what your body is telling you? Take the safety quiz on spatial disorientation from the Air Safety Institute, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency, and check how much you know about what causes, and how to prevent, not knowing up from down. Take the quiz >>

Out in the cold: Winterize your aircraft

Winter is fast approaching: Many parts of the country have already had a taste (or more) of snow this season. Wherever you keep your aircraft, consider taking steps to prepare it for the winter months. Measures like adding air to the tires and inspecting the cabin heat system can help prevent cold-weather hazards from getting the best of you this winter. Find tips on winterizing your aircraft in AOPA’s subject report.

Know before you go

Are you allowed to fly into a controlled firing area … how about a special flight rules area? For answers to these questions and to delve into other airspace such as ADIZ, MOA, MTR, TFR, and NSA, enter the Air Safety Institute’s aptly named Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace online course. Tips, animations, and interactive quizzes test your newly acquired knowledge along the way. Shield yourself from inadvertently busting airspace: Take the course before your next cross-country flight.

IFR FixIFR Fix: How to break out

IFR Fix: How to break out “Breaking out” is the climactic moment on an instrument approach. Descending to minimums, there will be either a landing or a missed approach in your immediate future. Which is it going to be? In the real world of instrument approaches this moment and the flying that delivers you to it doesn’t much resemble the way inside-the-final-approach-fix flying scenarios are presented in training under simulated instrument conditions. When do you begin looking for the runway environment? Read more and take the poll >>

Aspen Glass 2K Savings.

Instantly save more than $2000 on Evolution 1500 or 2000 system purchases made before Dec 31. Aspen glass increases situational awareness and reduces pilot workload. Features include: built-in system redundancy, SV, traffic/weather, and seamless integration with your existing radio, nav, and autopilot. Click for details >>

Improve your safety by learning from others

Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the Air Safety Institute's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.

BlogsLeading Edge: In preparation for the spin cycle

Every few years AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg goes through an unusual attitude refresher just to remember that airplanes are controllable even outside of normal flight parameters. This year, instructor and International Aerobatic Club Government Relations Committee National Representative Bill Finagin did the honors. The Pitts S-2C is an excellent platform in which to explore those areas that we really should be avoiding in transportation or basic training aircraft. What are your thoughts on spin training? Read more and take the poll >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Nov. 12 and 13

Anchorage, Alaska

San Diego, Calif.

Ashburn, Va.

Nov. 19 and 20

Albuquerque, N.M.

Austin, Texas

Dec. 3 and 4

Denver, Colo.

Orlando, Fla.

Northbrook, Ill.

Jan. 7 and 8

Baltimore, Md.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

Nov. 14

Costa Mesa, Calif.



Nov. 15

Ontario, Calif.

Nov. 16

San Diego, Calif.



Dec. 5

Mesa, Ariz.

Jacksonville, Fla.




Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.



FCC urged to squelch LightSquared’s spectrum

Save Our GPS The Coalition to Save Our GPS is seeking the immediate revocation of LightSquared’s ability to transmit in its upper band of the mobile satellite spectrum. The company’s proposed telecommunications network has become a bureaucratic battleground over signal interference with aviation navigation and other GPS users. The coalition filed its request with the Federal Communications Commission on Nov. 8, citing test evidence that it said shows that LightSquared could never be able to use the upper band for the terrestrial operations portion of its network. Read more >>

10,000-sq-ft NextGen test bed opens

An expanded 10,000-square-foot test-bed facility for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) opened Nov. 7 at Daytona Beach International Airport following a congressional field hearing on the airspace-modernization effort. The product of a partnership between FAA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Daytona Beach International Airport, the Florida NextGen Test Bed “allows the federal government to take advantage of the University and private sector expertise in developing and testing NextGen technologies,” according to a news release from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Read more >>

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program offers NEW lower rates

Our goal is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make aircraft ownership more attainable we just lowered our rates to make monthly payments more affordable. For more information, or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to


FAA updates CFI renewal clinic guidelines

FAA updates CFI renewal clinic guidelines Three little words are creating a buzz in the aviation safety industry: angle of attack. The FAA recently updated its advisory circular that lays the framework for flight instructor refresher clinics (FIRCs). The agency added angle of attack to one of the 10 core topics that must be covered in FIRCs. “Angle of attack is often misunderstood,” said AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg, who has written extensively about the topic. “Ensuring instructors have a comprehensive understanding of angle of attack and can teach it to their students will help to reduce the accident rate.” Read more >>

Advisory committee gives GA voice in security

AOPA Manager of Aviation Security Tom Zecha has been appointed to represent airport tenants and general aviation on the Department of Homeland Security’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee. After a five-year hiatus, the committee has been re-formed to give stakeholders a voice in aviation security policies.

AOPA Insurance Agency offers the right coverage at the right price

We work with A-rated underwriters and offer the most coverage options to fit your needs for the aircraft you own or rent. Call 800-622-AOPA or go online for a free quote.

Member Benefits

AOPA’s EA+ fills the gap with health insurance

If you’ve ever been in the position of having a medical emergency away from home, you know how quickly money can fly through your hands. Medical insurance rarely pays for all the incidental expenses you incur. That’s where EA+ comes in. EA stands for emergency assistance, and that’s what this plan provides. It’s not medical insurance, but it bridges the gap between what your medical plan covers and the emergency expenses most health insurance plans never pay. Read more >>

Medications update: Victoza for diabetes

The FAA has established certification procedures for a new diabetes medication, Victoza (liraglutide), a once-daily injectable medication called a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1). It works by helping the pancreas make more insulin following a meal. The “fine print” for FAA medical certification purposes is a little complicated. AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump provides a synopsis in this selection from the AOPA Medical Services Program newsletter. Members enrolled in the program get valuable information like this and much more.

BlackBerry, Windows Mobile apps keep airport info at hand

AOPA members can have airport services, FBO information, airport diagrams, and more on their Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices using AOPA Airports apps, developed by Hilton Software, maker of the popular WingX product. Download it today >>

FREE Video Tip! — Courses for Beginner to Pro!

Click for a Free Video Training Tip and find a course to achieve your next goal, or to make your flying safer and more rewarding. Not sure? Call us at 800-854-1001 and talk to one of our pilot training advisors.

AOPA 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes

‘I came for this’: Special delivery to New York Harbor

Tornado Husky makes a special delivery The date for AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman’s often-postponed flight to spread his stepfather’s ashes above the Statue of Liberty was finally set for Nov. 6, but that morning, as before, there was a complication. A stubborn head cold had kept his ears plugged for days, and no amount of chicken soup, hot tea, orange juice, or nasal sprays seemed to make any difference. He considered a compromise: On a much shorter flight to Annapolis, Md., he and his mother could spread the ashes over the Chesapeake Bay near the Naval Academy. His wife rejected it out of hand. “Look, John was a New Yorker,” she said. Read more >>

The FAA medical certification process can be a minefield for the unprepared—Don’t go it alone

The AOPA Medical Services Program can provide you with personalized, in-depth assistance from experts who understand pilots, paperwork, and the FAA. Plus, receive access to important tools that can help keep you flying. Enroll today!

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a communications coordinator, manager of flight training programs, online product manager, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, Web business analyst, medical certification assistant, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


Picture Perfect

AOPA’s online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others’ photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

Picture Perfect

Forums: How not to forget the landing gear

When flying in a retractable-gear aircraft, what’s the best method to use to remember to lower the landing gear? Does a standard “GUMPS” check work, or does it run into difficulty with certain landing conditions and approaches? Sound off on how you remember to lower the landing gear.


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Rally GA

Check out user-submitted events from your region. To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. AOPA does not endorse the events listed below, nor have ePilot editors edited the submissions. AOPA assumes no responsibility for events listed.

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Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.


Question: I recently planned a flight to Potomac Airfield in Friendly, Md., and noticed that the Northeast Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) page for that airport shows that 122.8 MHz is used for “CTAF/AUNICOM,” under the communications section. What is the difference between “AUNICOM” and unicom?


Answer: The A/FD legend (page 16 in the Oct. 20 edition) indicates that “AUNICOM” is short for automated unicom, which is “a computerized, command response system that provides automated weather, radio check capability and airport advisory information selected from an automated menu by microphone clicks.” There are currently approximately 100 installed automated unicom facilities across the country. The idea is to provide weather information, traffic advisory information, and radio checks to pilots without requiring a dedicated frequency or employee to provide the information. Take note: The presence of automated unicom is not currently shown on VFR or IFR FAA charts—pilots must rely on the A/FD to determine automated unicom availability. Check out 47 CFR 87.219 for a description of automated unicom functionality requirements.


Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is a service available to all members as part of the annual dues. Call 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672), or email to [email protected].

Rally GA Boost your safety. Refresh your aviation safety knowledge while networking with other pilots during seminars presented by the Air Safety Institute.

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